Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,641 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,641
Ratings:
11,894
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
573
Gots:
2,824
For Trade:
57
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Reviews: 3,641 | Ratings: 11,894
Photo of tai4ji2x
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

RE-REVIEW

12oz bottle with no date found. poured into tulip.

lacing somewhat sparse this time around.

more notes of fruit in the aroma this time, plus maybe well-aged balsamic vinegar.

on the palate, i get sweeter tones than before, with dried fruit note. perhaps i'm also more used to the bitterness too. can detect phenols this time too.

on the feel, i can detect more complexities than before too, but mouthfeel score is the same.

appearance 4.5 -> 4.0
taste 3.5 -> 4.0

>>>>>>>>>>>
original review feb-3-2008:

dark black, lots of tannish brown head that shrinks very slowly and clings very tightly to the glass, leaving behind plenty of coffee colored, foamy lace.

pungent roasted and burnt malts, ever so slight hint of chocolate and vanilla. alcohol becomes noticeable as it warms up.

quite bitter, almost overpowering the malt and other flavors. indeed, it gives a slight pucker, along with a faint acidity.

slightly syrupy, not too thin. moderate carbonation.

eh... looked better than it ended up being for me. maybe needs some aging?

 1,092 characters

Photo of gnoff
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from 12 fl oz bottle courtesy of a friend, traded from the USA.

Dark red color, brown head.
Alcohol and chocolate scent, sweet.
Strong sweet and burnt taste, burnt and coffee after taste.
Warming alcohol feeling.
Very big palate.
Raissin taste as well.
Medium high bitterness.

 300 characters

Photo of Fatduck
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep viscus black, no head, I wish it had a nice lasting head, what little it had for a few seconds was a deep tan.

Smells very winey, raisins, plums maybe. I get lost in these crazy beers, but I recognize a good thing when I see it.

Taste is good, but not what I've come to expect from RISs.

Thick viscous feel, very drinkable for what it is.

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Photo of greenjeff4141
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first time I've had Old Rasputin but not the first imperial stout. It pours dark dark black with a nice head and good lacing until the last sips. The smell is of the dark roasty flavors that hide within, and the taste follows suit, very rich and bitter with charcoal and dark choclate flavors. Almost like a cold espresso.

I liked the beer, not my favorite of the dark ones but a pleasure nonetheless.

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Photo of ahq514
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into NB globe glass. This particular bottle is about 1 year old.

Pours a nice black color. Almost two finger head that is a light brown color. Head diminishes fairly quickly to a half finger. Appears to have lower carbonation. Light lacing.

Nose is what I would consider an RIS should be like. This one contains , roast, stronger on the chocolate, lighter on the coffee, and maybe a touch of oats. Some earthy hops lingering in the background.

It starts out a little sweet with a nice dose of dark chocolate. Next there is light bitterness that cuts through the beer quite nicely. It finishes with a nice roastiness and that touch of oats. The roast lingers for a little bit on the palate.

Good fuller body with a slight creaminess. Low carbonation.

Overall a solid RIS. I would consider this a good RIS staple because of the price and accessiblity. Dries out as it warms up, as where I would have liked it to stay slightly sweet. Will enjoy again I'm sure.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black body with fading tan head. Nice lacing.

S - Sweet chocolate covered hops. Chocolate syrup. Dark grainy bread and sweet sugar.

T - Nice hop burst up front. Some roasty flavors and silky chocolate. Slight warming effect of the alcohol on the way down. Sweet mocha and faint raisin aftertaste.

M - This beer turns into chocolate foam when you let it sit in your mouth, making a soft foamy feel. The body is medium and its semi dry.

O - Good robust stout. Standard warm, rich flavored RIS. Roasty, rich and warm on the way down.

 538 characters

Photo of BobZ
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Almost black with a dense 1/2” head that recedes to thin cap. Nice lacing.

Smell: As expected for a RIS roasted malt, strong coffee, and chocolate.

Taste: The richness of the roast comes forward with all of the chocolate and coffee plus the added warmth provided by the ABV. Not really getting any other flavors other than the mocha.

Mouthfeel: Clean on the palate with the warmth of the alcohol and the bitterness combining at the finish.

Overall: Very good RIS, the alcohol is not completely masked; however, it is also not unpleasant and the alcoholic warmth adds to the flavor of the beer.

 653 characters

Photo of thequeen711
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle a very very dark colour...wouldn't call is black...maybe deep chocolate, with a tan head that disappeared slowly. My nose predicted aromas of chocolate, coffee, caramel, and just a hint of hops. A superb blend from North Coast to make this Russian Imperial Stout one of the best.

 304 characters

Photo of ChadQuest
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a midnight black with a single finger of tan head.

Nose and palette say Vanilla, maple syrup, roasted malt, roasted malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate is also very prominent, and the tip of my tongue is tingling from a decent amount of hops, which along with a steady amount of carbination give this a pretty great mouthfeel. not the thickest but still quite oily. I'd reach for another.

 395 characters

Photo of Pahn
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch tan, fizzy head that dissipates slowly leaving rings of lacing. Beer has nice legs and lacing that crawl leisurely down the side of the glass. Pours jet black and thick. Can't look much more like a Russian imperial stout than this.

Smell: From the bottle there's a burst of hops and chocolate. In the glass I get chocolaty roasted malt, some piny/floral hops, and some espresso. Aroma gets deeper and bolder as the beer warms. Really nice.

Taste: Roasted malt, coffee, and a nice hop bitterness present throughout. Finishes nutty and chocolaty. Doesn't seem to be much going on, and the flavor doesn't develop during a sip as much as it consistently gives those main components--but what *is* happening is very good. There's a great balance of flavor. The beer develops slightly more depth as it warms, but it unfortunately never gets anywhere near as interesting or luxurious as the nose. Still a solid RIS flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied--pretty light for a Russian imperial stout. Carbonation is subtle but present. Finish gets to be rather hot pretty fast.

Drinkability: I'm generally in the mood for something with a bit more oomph when I'm in the mood for a RIS, but at the same time I could happily have a couple of these, despite the rather hot alcohol presence. If price is a factor, it's hard to beat a RIS of this quality for $10~ a 4pack, though I'd sooner go for Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout for a bargain stout, myself.

Old Rasputin is a solid beer, though nothing amazing. I can't see myself ever craving it, but I can definitely imagine sitting down with one and occasionally thinking, "Ah, this is just what I needed." It's a solid, no nonsense RIS. The mouthfeel is a little off, but it's not that big a deal. All told, it has a great balance of hops and spot-on "big stout" malt notes. A good deal for the price at which it's usually sold, definitely.

 1,952 characters

Photo of Blanco
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a gigantic snifter with a vigorous pour. lacing is tremendous.

the head on this beer is magnificent, probably from the pour, but holds well regardless. beer is dark, dark brown with a light brown head.

heavy chocolate in the smell. nothing else is really detectable, but it's pleasant nonetheless.

Taste is on the bitter side, yet slightly sweet. again with the chocolate. slight alcohol burn is apparent, but not particularly strong. yet it's there.

this is a more full bodied beer than normal. not syrupy though. it's slightly creamy as well.

this one is pretty drinkable. it tastes a little "bigger" than most stouts as you'd expect but this wouldn't detract me from having more than a few in a sitting.

 747 characters

Photo of meathookjones
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was the first Imperial Stout I ever tried, had it a few years ago that turned me on to the style and haven’t had it since for some reason. So I decided to pick it up and see what I thought of it now. Pours an opaque black color with a decent tan head. Not much retention, but it does leave a bit of lacing. Aroma is brimming with dark chocolate and coffee flavors with a bit of sweetness in there as well. The flavor is a bit mild with chocolate and coffee being at the forefront and a bit of hop bitterness as well. The alcohol defiantly comes out the more this one warms. This has a full-bodied mouthfeel with light carbonation. Overall a good imperial stout but there are plenty out there that I would prefer.

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Photo of GregJ
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thick tan head. Smells of dark roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate and some booziness. Head has a nice creamy texture, tastes of coffee, chocolate, dark roast and burnt malts, molasses and a little hop pine. Heavy body, light carbonation and a coffee/burnt malt aftertaste.

 295 characters

Photo of TheElectricOne
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip:

Appearance: deep, dark brown bordering on black. Lighter brown highlights on the fringes of the glass, with a really fluffy and lingering head. Lots of lacing.

Aroma: mostly roastiness, not overly complex, but very deep and pronounced. A twinge of coffee/dark chocolate, but the dominant scent is roasted malt.

Taste: ticks all the components you'd expect/desire for an RIS. Begins with sweetness and caramelly flavor, moves into roasted malt and bitter coffee notes, and finishes with some dark chocolate flavor. Flavor is complex and nuanced. Delicious.

Feel: perhaps a tad thin, drinking like a heavy porter instead of a heavy stout. Could just be palate overload from drinking so many BA stouts recently.

Overall: delightful beer, exemplary of the style.

 803 characters

Photo of AmericanPaleMale666
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - beautiful jet black body, upon pouring a creamy head with subtle red tones emerges and lots of lacing can be seen

N - roasty chocolaty malts

M - Creamy and full bodied

T - Well balanced between coffee, chocolate and roasted malts. Begins with a sweet chocolate flavor that transitions into a nice dark coffee, alcohol is also deteactable at this point, finishes with a dry malty bitterness

O - This is the second RIS I've had and I wasn't disappointed. The aroma is strong and flavorful and the taste is excellent, easily drinkable. Would pick this one up again.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, allowed to warm a bit from the fridge, poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours absolute black, with an absolutely massive tan head that paints the glass with lacing. Stunning beer. The nose is a little weak, bitter coffee with just a hint of chocolate that only becomes apparent as the beer warms some more. As I sip my opinion of the beer improves, the dark coffee flavor is still most prevalent while dark chocolate makes a little more noise than in the nose and there's also a slight warming sensation from the alcohol. Great mouthfeel on this beer as the body is nice and big and chewy, while the carbonation is suitably low. Old Rasputin is a very good beer, phenomenal in some aspects, but where it really matters most it falls just a little bit short of world class.

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Photo of WankelEngine
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours completely black and opaque, even when held up to a bright light. There is a dark tan head with moderate retention.

S: Incredibly complex and balanced. The first thing I could smell was coffee, followed closely by chocolate and caramel. There is also an herbal smell, sort of like grass cuttings or pine. On top of all this, the beer smells distinctly fruity, like cherry and citrus.

T: The taste is less balanced than the smell; a smoky mocha is the dominant flavor. The malts also contribute their characteristic sweetness. The fruit flavors are still here, but faint compared to their smells. More hops in this than most Russian imperial stouts which do a little bit to balance the mocha.

M: There is more carbonation here than in most RISs. Moderately thick and slightly syrupy.

O: This beer has more hops and carbonation than your average RIS, making it somewhat unique, but the smell is better than the taste

 976 characters

Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a midnight black with a medium thickness tan head. The aroma is intriging with bubblegum like esters and tons of alcohol with a bit of chocolate and a piney hop character.
Flavor is intense with a slightly metallic chocolate and roasted barley malt profile accompanied by a strong pine hop flavor with a sweet finish. Has tons of alcohol and this definetly adds to the body by increasing the length of time the flafors linger. Very drinkable but also very intensly flavored and alcoholic, would probably go very good with dessert.

 537 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark Brown.
Thin, minimal dark tan head.
Nice carbonation. Crisp, not smooth.
Strong bite, probably from high abs but it’s not a lingering bite, more like a quick snap.
It tastes like an Imp. Stout should with a nutty coffee with a few raisons tossed in for good measure.
Good Body.
Nothing particularly impressive but all in all solid.
Very drinkable for such a high ABV.
Warming.

 392 characters

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes written on 11/28/10.

Rasputin has the prototypical RIS look. The body has a deep black hue with a slight mocha-brown tint. A dense dark khaki to mocha head sits at a one-finger hight above that body. The head takes a while to fade and leaves a cloudy and bubbly, full-covering film of froth. The lacing is phenomenal - sticky, sizzling with carbonation, substantial, and sexy.

Roasted malts with a bit of a nutty tinge tickle my nostrils at first whiff. Behind those scents lie a hearty acidic coffee aroma, and just a hint of dark chocolate. Very subtle notes of plum and blackberry also infiltrate my nose.

The bitter flavors of the roasted malt, coffee, nuttiness, and a slight hop presence zap the tip of my tongue and sides of my mouth, while the deeper flavor of plum and dark chocolate massage the fat of my tongue. I've had this beer several times prior to reviewing, and I don't remember it being this roasty and bitter. Perhaps this bottle is really fresh and the roasted malt and hops haven't mellowed out yet. The roasty-ness and bitterness do outweigh the deep, coating sweet flavors in this bottle, for sure, and it is to the overall detriment of the taste.

The feel in my mouth is puckering and coating at the same time. It is a pretty medium to full feel on the broad of my tongue with a crisp and biting, cleansing feeling on the sides of my palate. This has got to be a really fresh bottle, as I think there is a huge bittering hop presence.

The drinkability of this bottle is tough to rate for me because I know I've had Rasputin before when it has been much less bitter and more drinkable. I think I need to start a campaign for all breweries to label when the beer was bottled. I have had too many disappointing bottles of beer because there is no bottling date on the label. For me, this was too roasty and hoppy, but I have had Rasputin when it is not that way. What's a beer drinker to do?

 1,941 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque onyx color with a small, but quite persistent tan head, and thick, glass coating lace.

Aroma: Quite intense aroma of dark fruit, bitter chocolate, coffee, and a pronounced alcohol note.

Taste: Opens with dark roasted malt flavors, followed by dark chocolate notes, after which a wave of vinous sweet alcohol washes over the palate. Finishes with a lingering bitter coffee note.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant and smooth with a little zesty carbonation at the opening; a perhaps bit less full than I would have expected.

Drinkability/notes: A superb winter beer, truly deserves to be sipped and savored in the manner of a liqueur. Perfectly suited to the darkest, coldest nights of winter.

 700 characters

Photo of gatorguy813
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my first experiences as i delve into the world of porters and stouts. This brew smells strong of espresso and dark chocolate and tastes of it as well. For being 9% abv, it hides it very well. all in all i'd reccomend it to those who want to enjoy an excellent stout.

 281 characters

Photo of Luk13
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pitch black pour with creamy brown head with great retention. Roasted malts and stale coffee aromas and taste. Decent mouthfeel, nothing extraordinary.

On tap at lion's pride. The chocolate flavors were more dominant and the mouthfeel a little more creamy. There was also nuts, licorice and dark fruits. Fresher and superior.

 335 characters

Photo of shadow1961
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

North Coast Brewing's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout pours out
a lovely thick chocolate colored head over an opaque black brew. The
nose is raisin, coffee, and booze. Carbonation is steady. The flavor is
coffee up front, with a sharp finish of bitter chocolate and hops. The
alcohol (9% by volume) is well moderated by the strong flavors of the
beer. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light for such a dark brew, and a bit
dry as well. The aftertaste is grassy hop. A good beer to brood over in
the dead of winter, but since it's spring, a good candidate for aging.

 575 characters

Photo of 57md
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thick and creamy head. Like with many nitros, you must wait until the beer settles before taking your first sip - but, the great visual effect of the beer settling makes the wait bearable.

The aroma is roasty with some general sweetness. The first sip yields a hearty beer with a bitter roasted finish that has a slight alcohol burn on the back end. As one drinks this gem down, the foam ring remnants divulge the size of each delicious gulp.

Since its an imperial, it could have a stronger roast profile, but no need to nitpick.

 550 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,641 ratings.
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